Storm King's Thunder
BackgroundThe events of the Storm King's Thunder originate three years prior in 1489 DR, with the events of the Tyranny of Dragons. When the dragon queen Tiamat was nearly summoned into the world before the Cult of the Dragon was defeated, Annam the All-Father was enraged. He was so enraged that he decided to break the Ordning - an ancient caste system that determined the hierarchy of all giantkind. Fearful of his people losing their place at the apex of giant society, King Hekaton bullied the rebellious giant lords into submission, using his strength of arms and force of personality to keep them from making war on the small folk and each other.
Over a year before the ordning was shattered, Hekaton divined that his two elder daughters - Mirran and Nym - were unfit to rule, and thus proclaimed his youngest daughter - Serissa - his heir. The older two were quietly furious at this decision. A new arrival to Maelstrom, named Iymrith (actually a blue dragon in disguise), helped Mirran and Nym assassinate Queen Neri - King Hekaton's wife - and blame it on the small folk of the Lords' Alliance. As Hekaton prepared his retaliation, he was left vulnerable and abducted by the Kraken Society.
For her part, Iymrith resented the Lords' Alliance for its key role in defeating the Cult of the Dragon three years prior in 1489 DR. While she hadn't been involved, she came to believe that the Alliance was the greatest threat to dragons on the Sword Coast. Once Hekaton was out of the picture and Princess Serissa unable to govern effectively, the other giants refused to listen to the Princess and waged their own campaigns as they saw fit - usually on the small folk of the Sword Coast.
Chapter 1: A Great UpheavalThe Storm King's Thunder truly begins in the final days of 1491 DR, when the small town of Nightstone came under attack by a flying cloud giant castle, which then proceeded to steal the eponymous nightstone from the middle of Nightstone's bailey. A large portion of the town fled into the nearby Dripping Caves, but were ambushed and captured by goblins upon arrival. With the village abandoned, the goblins occupied it - aside from the motte castle, where Baron Wislaw Jansobski, his guards, and his staff were holed up. Three days later, on the first day of 1492 DR, Aial Vock Tal and Sariel Liadon entered the town. The two of them managed to clear much of the town of goblins, but a squad of Zhentarim agents on horseback arrived before the duo could reach the castle.
The Zhentarim force was led by Xolkin Alassander, who was infatuated with a spy in Nightstone. Their mission was to claim the town as a base for the Zhentarim close to Waterdeep, but their hopes were dashed when Wislaw Jansobski and his guards emerged from the keep. Heavily outnumbered, the Zhentarim agents retreated from the town. It was at this point that the adventuring party of Aial Vock Tal, Sariel Liadon, and Wislaw Jansobski formed. Their introductions were brief, however, as a warband of orcs soon emerged from the Ardeep Forest, fresh from a mauling by the local wood elves. A number of orcs managed to sneak into the town through a gap in the palisade, managing to bring down the drawbridge and let in nearly two dozen others. The Nightstone forces were pushed back to the keep, but help arrived at the last minute with the arrival of wood elf scouts that had been tracking the orcs from the Ardeep Forest.
With the town secure, the party set off to search for the missing townsfolk. They followed tracks to a cave entrance a mile north of the town, in a series of caves known as the Dripping Caves. A goblin clan had taken over the caves about a month prior, and two tendays prior had befriended two ogres. When the townsfolk fled to the previously secure caves, they were unprepared for the goblins and ogres and promptly captured. The party fought their way through the caves, using Aial's divine magic, Sariel's stealth, and Wislaw's inventions. The trio successfully defeated the goblin boss, Hark, and rescued a total of thirty-one townsfolk.
Upon their return to Nightstone with the rescued hostages, Wislaw immediately began preparations to head out and deal with what he referred to as the "giant menace" himself. He handed responsibility for the town to his brother Henryk, then collected his loyal knight Waldek and departed the keep. Realising he had departed without a destination, Wislaw asked his companions for tactical advice. Aial had spent some time speaking with one of the townsfolk they had rescued, the dwarf Morak Ur'gray, who had asked him to deliver a message and pet Tressym to the son of a couple killed in the attack days prior. Aial agreed to this, as the son (Miros Xelbrin) lived in Goldenfields, where Aial had grown up.
Before the party could leave Nightstone the next morning, a large cloud giant castle appeared over the town. While the inhabitants were terrifed the attackers had come back to finish the job, Wislaw correctly noticed that this was an entirely different cloud giant castle. This tower belonged to a much more friendly cloud giant named Xephyros, who was horrified at the damage his kin had caused. While he had been driven slightly insane by repeated castings of contact other plane, he understood enough to know that he had to help the party achieve their goals to stop the rampages across the Sword Coast. He offered to ferry the group directly to Goldenfields, an offer which they accepted.
Before the tower was able to arrive at Goldenfields, it was intercepted by representatives of the Cult of the Howling Hatred, one of the four cults of Elemental Evil. Riding giant vultures, two of these agents boarded the flying tower and demanded to speak with its cloud giant owner. They claimed that the goals of their cult and the cloud giants were aligned, and wished for his aid. Between persuasive arguments from Sariel and a casting of contact other plane, Xephyros rejected their offer. They begrudgingly accepted and left, even as they called the cloud giant a short-sighted fool.
Chapter 2: RumblingsThree days after departing from Nightstone, the Tower of Xephyros arrived at the walled abbey of Goldenfields. Aial took time to introduce his companions to the people and locations of Goldenfields, before meeting with Abbot Ellardin Darovik. After explaining the purpose of their visit, they delivered the unfortunate news to Miros Xelbrin, who took the news of his parents' deaths with a stiff upper lip. After a few drinks, the party retired for the night.
The night's silence was shattered by yelling and shouting from the walls, which had come under attack by a significant ogre, bugbear, and goblin force led by six hill giants. Due to the incompetence of Captain of the Guard, half the enemy force had made it across the wall before being spotted. The party and the guards fought the intruder force, which had split into three groups. After two of the groups had been defeated, Ellardin Darovik was able to ring the bell, routing the final group, who retreated back over the wall to regroup. During this time, two hill giants decided to climb over the wall and attack the abbey by themselves - they were quickly beaten into submission and surrendered.
The forces that remained outside the wall were supported by six ogres carrying hobgoblin inventions called 'goblin huckers'. These devices are essentially portable trebuchets worn on an ogre's back that can fire a rock, flaming cask of pitch, or other similar projectile up to six hundred feet. However, it was intended to fire goblins equipped with spiked helmets. After a fighting retreat, the surviving enemies fled from Goldenfields, leaving the defenders battered but victorious. Following the battle, the next morning the party was given a number of requests by inhabitants of Goldenfields. Shalvus Martholio requested an escort to the Bargewright Inn, Lifferlas the awakened tree asked the party to visit his creator at Shadowtop Cathedral, Zi Liang gave a gift to the party to pick up in Waterdeep, Miros Xelbrin wanted his regards given to Arleosa Starhenge in Amphail, and Naxene Drathkala knew of a dragon expert in Waterdeep that could aid them against the giants. With the requests logged, the party set off from Goldenfields, spending four days on the road to Waterdeep.
Chapter 3: The Savage FrontierArriving at the great city of Waterdeep, the party reported to Open Lord Lady Laeral Silverhand. After explaining the situation and the events that had transpired around Nightstone and Goldenfields, the party was requested by Lady Silverhand to investigate a cloud giant castle that has appeared above the city, and determine whether it poses a threat. While Aial was simply able to fly there, Sariel, Wislaw, and Waldek hitched rides with members of the Griffon Cavalry to the flying fortress. Once there, the party met the castle's inhabitants - Count Nimbolo, Countess Mulara, two other adult cloud giants, three young cloud giants, and eight stone giant guards. After a discussion, the party determined that the cloud giants were simple cartographers engaged in mapping and surveying the Sword Coast, completely unrelated to the ongoing events.
With the Open Lord satisfied that Waterdeep was safe, the party was able to finally meet with their contacts in the city. They first visited the residence of House Thann, where they met the head butler Cauldar Marskyl. After presenting a black pearl pendant from Zi Liang, the butler realised that Zi had intended to give her inheritance to the party to aid them on their quests. Once the party had recieved some potions, they went to find Chazlauth Yarghorn, Naxene Drathkala's dragon-researching contact in Waterdeep. While Naxene had a plan to bring metallic dragons on the side of the small folk, Chazlauth dismissed that plan and instead proposed an even crazier one: to meet with the ancient green dragon Claugiyliamatar and use her powerful divination abilites to find a way to end the giant threat. While he insisted the plan was foolproof, he gave each member of the party a potion of poison resistance, just to be safe. The next day, the party (along with Shalvus Martholio) departed Waterdeep north along the Long Road.
Their first stop, a day's ride away, was the small hamlet of Rassalantar. Following a night's rest there, the party continued north another two days to the village of Amphail. At the village, Sariel met with Arleosa Starhenge, who was glad Miros Xelbrin was okay. After a long conversation, Arleosa gave a ring to Sariel as thanks for ensuring the safety of Miros and giving a good conversation. Although the party was going to leave the following day, they decided to stay, as Amphail was celebrating the noble Tylander Roaringhorn's sixty-third birthday. During the celebrations, a trio of hill giants descended upon the town, drawn to the smells of the celebration. They were quickly dispatched by the party and the Waterdhavian guards present. The Lord Warder of Amphail, Dauner Ilzimmer, thanked the party for their aid, telling them of attacks by giants all across the Dessarin Valley.
The party then continued north for several days to the town of Red Larch, then turned east to the Bargewright Inn. Upon arrival, Shalvus Martholio thanked the party for an eventful escort to the town. He then asked the party to help escort a beer wagon to Mornbryn's Shield, several days to the north. As the party was heading in that direction anyway, they accepted. Aial sensed that something was off, but couldn't place it, so he went with the party's decision. The next day, the party crossed the Dessarin River to the town of Womford, the continued north with the beer wagon.
Several more days north laid the town of Beliard. In the town, the party decided to go hunt some giants for the posted bounty of 500 gp per giant, as they were low on money. While in town, Sariel accidentally activated the ring she was given by Arleosa Starhenge, which created an apparition of a halfling. The halfling pointed them in the direction of an old tower in the hills, not too far away, claiming it was filled with treasure. While heading in that direction, the party spotted a young copper dragon lazily flying overhead. After getting the dragon's attention by reflecting sunlight off of a knife, they met the dragon, who was named Vexilanthus. When the party asked about the old tower, Vexilanthus said there was a hill giant lurking inside, and he would be grateful if they were to get rid of it. The party agreed, heading to the tower anyway. At the tower, the party uncovered a female hill giant mournfully singing. Although attempts were made to reach a peaceful arrangement, the giant had several mood swings, attacking the party. She was quickly defeated, and the party collected the tower's treasure. On the way back to Beliard, Sariel managed to charm Vexilanthus into providing safe escort for the party and their beer wagon most of the way to Westbridge.
Between Beliard and Westbridge laid the Stone Bridge. As the party crossed the midpoint of the bridge, a fire giant and hell hound crossed from the other side. A fight ensued, but the giant was unprepared for the sudden intervention of a copper dragon, and the party successfully defeated their attackers. As the party came within a few days of Westbridge, Vexilanthus informed them that he couldn't approach any closer to Kryptgarden Forest - the domain of the ancient green dragon Claugiyliamatar. The party thanked him for his help, and parted ways. Several days later, the party and their accompanying wagon arrived at the village of Westbridge. Staying the night at the Harvest Inn, the party set out in the morning for the depths of Kryptgarden Forest.
Deep within Kryptgarden Forest, the party was suddenly come upon by a massive green dragon chewing on the corpse of an Uthgardt nomad in her mouth. It was Claugiyliamatar, and she had been expecting them. Unhappy with the giants (mortal enemies of dragonkind) rampaging around the Sword Coast, "Old Gnawbones" shared a piece of her scryed information with the party. She suggested they head north to the Valley of Khedrun in the Spine of the World. Somewhere in there was a place called the Eye of the All-Father - which she cryptically described as a place where the party would "learn what must be done to end the giant menace". She also told them to keep an eye out for a frost giant wearing the skull of a white dragon, who would be able to aid the party. Following this imparting of information, Claugiyliamatar took flight, leaving the party to exit Kryptgarden Forest, and the next day Westbridge.
Following two more days of travel north, the party arrived at the town of Triboar. The next day, at highsun, the town suddenly came under attack by a band of orcs from the southeast. The Lord Protector, Darathra Shendrel, immediately sent the town militia to repel them. However, this was just a diversion, as a pair of fire giants and group of orogs attacked from the northeast. With the militia gone, the party and several townsfolk were forced into action, defending the town as the fire giants dug up something under the north caravan campground. Following a fierce battle, the fire giants and their forces were repelled, revealing a two-inch-thick, eleven-foot-long adamantine band. Wislaw determined through a casting of detect magic and thorough analysis that the object was once part of some enormous construct. With the town secure for the time being, a number of people had various requests for the party as they headed out further north. Darathra Shendrel requested that the party report on the giant threat to her Harper superiors in Everlund, Darz Helgar suggested the party pursue a wanted criminal named the Weevil, Narth Tezrin wanted a crate of saddles delivered to Noanar's Hold (supplying a wagon and draft horse named Boris), and Urgala Meltimer wanted the party to visit a former adventuring companion north of Silverymoon. Othovir wanted the party to steal a number of magic items from the Margaster family in Silverymoon, but Wislaw flatly refused.
Several days later, the party arrived in the town of Yartar. While Aial and Wislaw stayed in town overnight, Sariel boarded a casino boat, pretending to be a noble to get aboard. While onboard for the evening, she was approached by the ship's owner, Khaspere Drylund, who expressed interest in beginning a romantic relationship with her. She stayed evasive, and managed to elude making any commitments while keeping Khaspere wanting more. The following day, the party left Waldek and Boris in Yartar while they headed north to Mornbryn's Shield with the beer wagon. A few days later, it was successfully delivered to the Troll in Flames, a tavern in Mornbryn's Shield. While they weren't rewarded immediately, the party received an anonymous gift upon their return to Yartar.
The next stop on the party's journey was the small village of Calling Horns. As the party slept at the Calling Horns Inn, the stables came under attack by a duo of trolls. The party slew the trolls, and was approached by the village's leader (and owner of the Calling Horns Inn) - Tamalin Zoar. She requested that the party find the root cause of the troll attacks on her village, offering a letter of recommendation as a reward. The party spent the next two days and nights in the Evermoors. Just before highsun on the third day, Aial spotted a female fire giant slapping a troll. He was spotted, and the party managed to slay both giant and troll. They reported back to Tamalin, who made good on her promise of a letter of recommendation. She suggested the party present it either to the Hand of Yartar, a thieves guild in Yartar, or the half-orc innkeeper at Danivarr's House in Everlund.
From the road leaving Calling Horns, the party took a right down the trail to the small village of Noanar's Hold. Upon arrival, the party delivered the crate of saddles and decided to spent the night at the White Hart Inn. Wislaw had recalled some disturbing rumours about the village, and as such did not want to stay. That night, the party met three brothers from Neverwinter of the Daerivoss family setting out into the forest on horseback. The following morning, only two of them returned - one of whom was wounded. When pressed by Aial, they unconvincingly claimed that their brother was killed by a hill giant and the wounded one was struck by a spiked club. A cursory glance from the trained cleric determined that the wound was clearly from a rapier. Although Aial and Wislaw wanted to confront them immediately, Sariel convinced them to hold their tongues and instead tail the brothers the next time they left. Indeed, that night, the two brothers once again departed from the village, but this time with the party tailing them. Aial overheard the two brothers discussing their murder of the third, but Wislaw was spotted and the party forced to defend him. With both of the brothers dead, the party returned to Noanar's Hold to deliver news of the murder and self-defence.
Instead of continuing along the road to Everlund, the party decided to head through the High Forest to Shadowtop Cathedral in order to fulfill Lifferlas' request in Goldenfields. The journey took two days travelling along the Dessarin River to reach Shadowtop Cathedral. Upon arrival, the party was greeted by a satyr named Greenwhistle, despondent over being rejected by a dryad. He was immediately infatuated with Sariel, courting her in between assuring the others that the caretaker would be along "any time now". It was on the third night that the caretaker, the treant Turlang, arrived, along with the half-elf druid and Emerald Enclave member Tharra Shyndle. While brusque and audibly groaning during the conversation, Turlang eventually agreed to aid the party by supplying a single awakened shrub. Aial and Sariel thought the trip was a waste of time, but Wislaw was fascinated by the shrub and decided to bring it along, with the intention of sending it to Nightstone for "safe keeping". The shrub, however, refused this offer, leaving the party without any help. Tharra, who by this point liked the party, offered them a number of berries that would turn them invisible for a short time. She also offered to escort the party to the edge of the High Forest, which the party accepted.
After reaching the forest's edge, Tharra then invited the party to join her in visiting an old ranger companion in the village of Jalanthar, not far from Everlund. The party accepted this offer too, and set off north along the road. Stopping at the village of Olostin's Hold along the way, the party arrived at Everlund a number of days later. As they arrived, they immediately went to Danivarr's House to report to Dral Thelev, the one-eyed half-orc bartender. Dral inspected the badge from Darathra momentarily, before offering the party a drink of 'Silverymoon's finest', which Sariel drank immediately. To the others' surprise, she vanished. Dral explained that the elven wine triggered teleporation magic, teleporting the half-elf to the real meeting location. Once the others drank the wine, they found themselves inside Moongleam Tower - the headquarters of Harper operations in the North. They were approached by the tower's resident archmage, Krowen Valharrow, to whom they relayed the information from Darathra. He thanked them for their time and offered use of the Harper teleporation network to aid in their fight against the giants. Before their departure, he also offered Sariel a position in the Harpers. She replied she would think about it, and the party departed Everlund with Tharra Shyndle for Jalanthar.
Arriving at Jalanthar some days later, the party was thanked greatly for escorting Tharra to the village, and she rewarded them with a number of magic items. While getting drunk that night in the tavern, Sariel ended up deciding to join the Harpers. Three days later, she returned to Moongleam Tower and was given her Harper pin. Following the party's return to Everlund, they departed once more north to the city of Silverymoon. Although the city's impressive architecture intrigued Aial, the party was only able to stop for a night's rest before moving on west. Their next stop was Zymorven Hall, by request of Urgala Meltimer. The party (after mentioning Urgala's name) was warmly greeted by Lord Harthos Zymorven, who relayed the unfortunate news that his son, Harthal, had stolen his greatsword of giant slaying. He had apparently done this after his father disowned him for marrying a thief from Yartar. Lord Zymorven suggested the party start in Yartar, but had little to go on from there. Following a night's rest, the party spent several days travelling back to Everlund via Silverymoon. After several weeks of sidetracking, the party had decided to finally get on with following Claugiyliamatar's advice and seek the giant oracle. They entered Moongleam Tower, and requested teleportation to Mirabar. Between the permission from the tower's archmage and Sariel's membership in the Harpers, they were permitted access, and a mage teleported them soon after.
Despite their pledge to follow the green dragon's advice, the party quickly spotted wanted posters for 'the Weevil'. Thanks to a tip from Darz Helgar in Triboar, they knew the criminal was located only a few days south in Xantharl's Keep. The posted reward of 5,000 gp proved too much to resist, and the party travelled south. Arriving at Xantharl's Keep, the party showed up just in time to be caught in the middle of an attack by a grost giant supported by a whole platoon of goblins, ogres, and hobgoblins. While Aial, Wislaw, Waldek, and the castle's garrison were easily repelling the attacking forces, Sariel decided to check the rest of the fortress to ensure the Weevil hadn't escaped. However, she was nearly overpowered by a squad of bugbears that scaled the eastern wall with a similar plan to hers'. Barely fighting her way out of the ambush, Sariel managed to get the attention of Aial, who alerted the others. The entire party reunited, they easily pushed back the bugbears, who had conveniently packed the Weevil into a burlap sack and were making off with him. After a thanks from the castle's Lord, Narbeck Horn, the party departed north with 'the Weevil' (real name Worvil Forkbeard, a dwarf) in tow. At Mirabar they handed over the wanted criminal to the town authorities, and were rewarded with the promised 5,000 gp.
Chapter 4: The Chosen PathIt was upon this return to Mirabar when the party was approached by an unexpected sight - a frost giant clad in plate armour and wearing the skull of a white dragon for a helmet. The giant introduced himself as Harshnag, and explained that he had heard tales of the party's exploits in thwarting giants all across the North. The party responded by telling him of their encounter with Claugiyliamatar and her divination. Harshnag immediately understood their destination, the Eye of the All-Father, as he had been planning on travelling there already. He suggested the party purchase supplies for a long trek into the mountains, which they did so.
The next day, the party (including Harshnag) set off to the north-east through the Valley of Khedrun. Following half a tenday of travel in the icy cold, the party arrived at the Eye of the All-Father, high atop a mountain. They fought their way past a group of Uthgardt nomads at the entrance, and Harshnag pushed open the giant-sized doors to the temple. Beyond, they found a massive statue of Annam the All-Father surrounded by statues of all the types of giants. However, the pathway to the oracle was sealed by a number of magical rooms. Harshnag suggested the party explore the rest of the temple to make sure it was safe while he figured out the runes. Turning to the room on their right, the party found a giant feast hall. However, as they entered, Wislaw was set upon by a remorhaz. It was a difficult battle, but the party managed to prevail. Heading to the other side of the temple, the party found a steep slope upwards, flanked by rooms on either side of the corridor. Aial, who didn't want to walk all the way to the top, decided to fly there. Unfortunately, he inadvertendly triggered a trap, as a giant boulder came crashing down the slope. Aial simple flew above it, while the small and nimble Sariel found a small divet in which to hide. Waldek was nowhere near the slope, but Wislaw took the full brunt of the giant boulder. He was saved from serious injury by his arcane armour, but decided to sit out exploring the rest of the temple as he recovered.
In one of the side rooms, the party discovered a small hole in the wall. As the only one small enough to fit, Sariel squeezed herself inside, maneuvering through icy cold tunnels full of cobwebs. She nearly became the lunch of a giant ice spider which attacked her, but she managed to fight it off, as well as the swarm of baby spiders that hatched after its death. She emerged from the tunnels covered in cobwebs and bite marks, but holding a frozen potion and carrying a warhammer inset with a valuable gem. While Waldek went to check on Wislaw, the other two decided to explore the upstairs section of the temple. Although it was mostly collapsed, Sariel managed to find a rare and valuable giant magic item, a shard of the ise rune.
An hour later after a short rest, Harshnag had finally figured out how to operate the runes. He took the giant greataxe from the frost giant statue, then touched it to the ise rune on the archway. Immediately a portal appeared inside the archway, and the party stepped through. On the far side was a hexagonal room with statues of each type of giant at each corner, and the cold-preserved corpse of a cloud giant in the middle of the room. As the party came close to the corpse to inspect it, the spirit of the giant appeared in front of them. He introduced himself as Eigeron, son of Blagothkus. He claimed that his father had betrayed and murdered him after the oracle said something the older giant did not like. After explaining to the party how to operate the oracle, he asked them to slay his father so his spirit could pass on from the world. Although the party was unlikely to ever meet Blagothkus, they agreed. With that, the party summoned the Eye of Annam. Through their carefully considered questions, the party uncovered the breaking of the ordning, evil giant lords threatening the Sword Coast, a plot within the storm giant nobility, and directions on how to proceed. Even as the party obtained all the information they needed to proceed on their quest, they still had one question remaining. As the only one who could speak giant (aside from Harshnag), Wislaw asked a question and received an answer, but never shared what he asked.
Before the oracle would divulge the location of the evil giant lords, it demanded the party prove themselves by recovering relics of giantkind that Uthgardt barbarians had constructed bural mounds over centuries prior. Harshnag informed the party that he would stay to guard the oracle and temple, awaiting their return. However, he provided them with a crudely-drawn map of their destinations. As the party left the temple onto the mountainside, a most curious sight befell them: an airship with a red balloon coming down to land right in front of them. The crew of the airship introduced themselves as members of the Cult of the Dragon. Recalling the vicious attacks by dragons three years prior, the party went to attack, but were stopped as the cultists explained their presence. They were sent by Klauth, one of the most powerful dragons in Faerûn, to assist the party in defeating the giants. While several of them had fought in the various battles three years prior, all of them were currently completely dedicated to their new master, Klauth. The cultists' explanations accepted, the party climbed aboard the airship and set out for their first destination.
Said first destination was the Great Worm Cavern. Only a few hours away from the Eye of the All-Father by airship, the party arrived there later in the day. They soon realised that the party of Uthgardt nomads they had slain in the entrance to the Eye of the All-Father contained the chief of the tribe in the Cavern. Using this information, they intimidated the guards of the cavern, who let them pass and recover the gong in thair cavern. As the party approached the altar with the gong atop it, a couatl recognised their good nature and spoke to them telepathically, warning them of the danger the Great Worm tribe's chieftan, Wormblod, presented. When the party explained that they had slain the chieftan, the couatl bestowed a blessing on each of them and retreated back into the altar. With the gong secured aboard the airship, the party then flew out to Beorunna's Well. Rapelling down into the Well, the party defeated a group of Black Lion tribe Uthgardt and a manticore that had allied itself with the tribe. They then managed to excavate a relic, but both the rest of the party and airship crew refused to join Sariel relaxing in a hot spring.
Next on the journey was One Stone, also located in the Glimmerwood. When the party arrived, they were confronted by a group of cultists from the Cult of the Black Earth, who were seeking the same relic as the party - the One Stone itself. The Cult of the Dragon airship crew encouraged the party to attack their rivals, but the party didn't have to, as the Cult of the Black Earth struck first. However, the party managed to win out in the end and claim the One Stone for the oracle. Following that, the airship flew the party to Stone Stand (stopping at Silverymoon for a rest with the airship well out of sight of the city), located just north of the High Forest. This relic, a frost giant skull, was guarded by a number of ghosts, one of which possessed Aial during a battle. He had to be knocked out by the others, but the ghosts were temporarily subdued. Once the party removed the skull, the ghosts were permanently laid to rest.
The next location the airship landed the party at was the Grandfather Tree, bural mound for the Tree Ghost tribe. As the party approached, they were stopped by a group of dryads and centaurs, who demanded they leave. Sariel used her charms to convince the dryads to let her take the giant relic from under the tree, which she did, taking the electrum torc back to the airship. On their way to the next relic, the party stopped in at Yartar. Sariel managed to get herself in the good graces of the all-female Hand of Yarter, using both her own charms and a letter of recommendation from Calling Horns. She discovered that Harthal Zymorven had been arrested for murder, and the corrupt guard captain had seized the greatsword of giant-slaying for himself. Using his position as a landed noble within the Lords' Alliance, Wislaw requested the Waterbaron, Nestra Ruthiol, seize the sword from the captain. She did so, giving it to the party without a fuss.
The next relic was taken from Flint Rock with little fuss, and the party flew to Shining White. While there, they narrowly evaded a flock of griffons patrolling the skies, and uncovered yet another relic. In Morgur's Mound, the party excavated the mound, but had issues when it turned out only Sariel had bothered to bring a shovel with her on the adventure. The party hoped to continue their good fortune of avoiding enemies as they stopped at the famed dwarven city of Gauntlgrym, recently liberated from drow occupation by an army led by the legendary Bruenor Battlehammer. The party was received by the king himself upon their arrival, who wished to congratulate them for dealing with so many giants across the Sword Coast. As the party was being received, a messenger approached King Battlehammer, who then requested the party deal with a band of drow thieves, who had stolen the heart of Gauntlgrym's forge and evaded his guards. Searching the many corridors and hallways of the dwarven city, the party managed to run across a group of eight drow and two shadow demons exiting the city through a hidden door. Sariel was the only one able to act fast enough, charging into the drow leader and knocking him over. Moments later, she was restrained by magical black tenacles as the drow and their demons escaped. Bruenor arrived moments later, despondent at the loss of the city's forge, until Sariel revealed she had snatched an iron flask from the drow leader.
As the party approached Gauntlgrym's forge with the King and his entourage, Bruenor revealed the secret of his city's success: the iron flask that Sariel was carrying housed an immensely powerful fire primordial, Maegara the Dawn Titan. Upon arrival at the forge, King Battlehammer released the primordial into it, safely securing the extraordinarily destructive creature and reigniting the forge's flames. As thanks for their efforts recovering the iron flask, the party was gifted a belt of dwarvenkind, which they decided to give to Aial.
Once the celebrations at Gauntlgrym were concluded, King Battlehammer saw the party off on their quest. Once again taking a detour from their next relic, the party stopped in at Neverwinter to see the city. Like in Gauntlgrym, the party was invited by Lord Protector Dagult Neverember to a reception in his private villa. This invitation was extended partially due to the party's exploits around the Sword Coast, but also because of Wislaw's position within the Lords' Alliance. During the evening, Lord Neverember spent some time speaking with Aial and Wislaw, but mostly flirted with Sariel all night. Thanks to her charms and good looks, she managed to convince Lord Neverember to support the party in their quest, supplying them with money, magic items, and places to stay within his territory.
As the airship swung north towards their destination, the party came across the fog-shrouded town of Port Llast. Their hopes of a place to stay were quickly dashed as they ran across a frost giant in the fog, and the party realised that the town had been overrun. Using the fog and buildings as cover, the party slowly dispatched the giants one or two at a time, rescuing hiding townsfolk from buildings, and eventually pushing the remaining frost giants back to their greatship. Heading even further north, the party arrived at the port city of Luskan. The secretive ruler of Luskan, the infamous drow mercenary Jarlaxle Baenre, quickly found out about the presence of the party in the city, and presented himself to them as an 'important individual', keeping secret his true position. Although he spent some time flirting with Sariel, his true objective was Wislaw. He attempted to persuade the aasimar to support Luskan's ambitions to join the Lords' Alliance, but his propositions fell on deaf ears. Wislaw was far too righteous, and having seen the state of the city, refused any notion of its joining what he considered to be the most presitigious faction on the Sword Coast. Despite that, Jarlaxle remained a good host, and allowed the party to depart without incident.
With Luskan behind them, the party finally arrived at the last relic, located at Raven Rock. While the party managed to collect the relic without incident, at the time they did not realise they were being spied upon by a group of giant ravens. Later in the day, the party's airship came under attack by a group of Black Raven Uthgardt nomads riding atop giant ravens. However, the boarders were successfully defeated as the party continued on their way back to the Eye of the All-Father. Entering the temple once more, the party reunited with Harshnag, who was still there. They made their way back to the oracle, presenting the various relics of giantkind they had collected. Listening to the oracle describe the plots of each evil giant lord, the party decided to fight the stone giant Thane Kayalithica at her stronghold of Deadstone Cleft.
As the party left the oracle room, they came across a very unexpected sight. A blue dragon, the size of the ancient green dragon Claugiyliamatar, burst through the main doors of the temple. Without hesitation, Harshnag struck the statue of Annam the All-Father, causing a rumbling in the temple. He urged the party to flee as fast as possible, as he engaged the blue dragon. As the party ran to the exit, the temple began collapsing. Wislaw was struck by a piece of falling debris, and Waldek stayed behind to ensure his liege would escape safely. At the last moment, Waldek shoved Wislaw through the main doors of the temple, before falling debris buried him, Harshnag, and the dragon. Outside, the party found that their airship and its crew had been frozen solid by a spell from the blue dragon. Without any other recourse, the party began the long trek down the mountain, mourning the loss of Waldek, Harshnag, and the crew of their airship.
Chapter 5: Canyon of the Stone GiantsIt took a few days for the party to reach Mirabar once more, but they were at a loss as to how to travel 650 miles to the Greypeak Mountains. However, while walking around Mirabar, Aial overheard someone talking about getting griffon riding lessons in Fireshear. An idea sparked in his head, and he hurried back to the other two. The party agreed that griffons would speed their travel greatly, and decided to make the journey to Fireshear. They travelled west along the Blackford Road back to Luskan, and once again Jarlaxle Baenre discovered their presence. He invited the party to another party of his own, but only Sariel showed up. Leaving Luskan to the northwest, the party arrived at Fireshear a few days later.
After asking around the town, the party came across a retired shield dwarf member of Waterdeep's Griffon Cavalry - Dasharra Keldabar. Charing 250 gold per person, Dasharra agreed to train the party to ride griffons over the course of three days, then fly them to Deadstone Cleft. The training was intense, with nearly every hour of daylight (and a few at night) taken up by learning how to ride griffons. Just as the party was wrapping up training three days after their arrival, a frost giant greatship sailed into the harbour. With Dasharra and Sariel providing archery from their griffons, Aial casting spells while flying himself, and Wislaw rallying the townsfolk on the ground, they managed to force the giants to retreat. However, a few hours later, the giants attacked again. This time they refused to retreat, and were defeated entirely. The next day, the party departed Fireshear, following Dasharra and her griffon Screecher.
Even with the aid of griffons, the journey took just over a tenday. As the party was a few hours away from Deadstone Cleft, they were joined in their flight by a young brass dragon named Silixia. When Sariel told her of their destination, she warned the party that there was a roc protecting Deadstone Cleft. Between some sweet words and the bribe of a minor magic item, Sariel managed to convince Silixia to distract the roc long enough for the party to land.
The party atop their griffon mounts landed atop the canyon, and the party began descending via rope. With the roc still somewhere in the skies, Dasharra told the party she was returning home to Fireshear. They continued on nevertheless, landing on an outcropping of rock forty feet above the river at the base of the canyon. Venturing inside, the party found a pool of mud in the middle of the room. As Sariel led the advance through the dimly-lit room, she was suddenly shoved by a stone giant that had merged into the wall. While Aial and Wislaw defeated the giant, Sariel fell into the gorgon mud at the base of the room and was petrified, her body turning to stone. However, thanks to the blessing given to her by the couatl in the Great Worm Cavern, her body was placed under the effects of a greater restoration spell once it was dragged from the mud. Freshly un-petrified, she suggested that Wislaw take the lead for a bit.
With Wislaw casting detect magic, he quickly spotted an illusion on the floor of the next room. As the party was ready for a fight, they were able to dodge more stone giants emerging from the walls, attempting to push them into the illusory floor. The party defeated them, but were suddenly ambushed from behind by a group of Blue Bear Uthgardt warriors, who had emerged from their beer cave in the previous room. Despite the ambush, the party defeated these foes too. The party crossed a bridge through the canyon to the other side, where they were set upon by two more stone giants. The giants were easily defeated, and the party climbed down the cave to the canyon floor. However, as they proceeded up the canyon, they were spotted by two stone giants, kneeling before a great statue. Aial identified the statue as Skoraeus Stonebones, the god of stone giants. Unlike the other giants, these two did not attack the party. They explained to the party that they believed Thane Kayalithica was going mad, believing she can raise stone giants to the top of the ordning by wiping out the works of "surface dwellers". They also revealed that she carried a conch of teleportation, an item that permits direct teleportation to the secret underwater fortress of Maelstrom, the home of the storm giant King Hekaton.
After thanking the friendly giants for their information, the party continued onwards, deeper into a cave at the base of the canyon. As Sariel looked around the cave, she was suddenly restrained by a host of tentacles from a roper in the room. Luckily for her, the other two managed to defeat it before it could seriously hurt her. Sneaking up a side passage, the party managed to get the drop on a group of six Uthgardt warriors, defeating them. They continued across a bridge over the canyon, finally arriving at Deadstone Cleft's temple. They were quickly spotted by Thane Kayalithica, who was enraged by their blasphemy of entering the temple and attacked on sight. She animated a stone golem, and the party had a hard-fought battle. In the end though, Wislaw's thunder cannon, Aial's spells, and Sariel's arrows brought down the stone giant Thane. Searching her body, they found the conch of teleportation, thousands of gold worth of gems and coins, and most curiously, a gnome named Elister in one of her pouches on her belt.
The gnome, a cleric of Gond, immediately began to explain his situation. He was captured by a stone giant and brough to Kayalithica because he claimed to have useful information of the defences of Loudwater, a nearby settlement. When questioned, he claimed to have inflated his description of its defences, discouraging the giants from attacking. He felt he couldn't escape, as the giants would likely kill him for trying. His explanations accepted by the party, he asked if they would escort him back to his home in Loudwater for a reward. They agreed, and after fighting a few more stone giants and Uthgardt warriors, escaped from Deadstone Cleft. After nearly a tenday of travel, they arrived in Loudwater. Elister's reward for the party was a small but valuable clock, that loudly dinged precisely every hour. With their reward secured and the party well rested, Wislaw blew the conch of teleportation, instantly bringing the party to Maelstrom.
Chapter 6: Hold of the Storm GiantsWhen the light of the teleportation spell faded, the party found themselves in a massive, moist room, the walls covered in bioluminescent lichen, snails, starfish, and barnacles. Immediately, the party heard music - a powerful female voice singing accompanied by the haunting tones of a pipe organ. Following the music up a set of stairs, the party came across an entire court of giants listening to music being played by two female storm giants. The party was quickly spotted, but before the giant guards attacked, one of the storm giant suggested they hear the party out. Sariel requested to speak with the current lord of Maelstrom, but one of the storm giants, Mirran, remarked that their younger sister, Serissa, was far too busy to grant an audience at the time. Instead, she and her present sister, Nym, would inform Serissa of the party's presence while they waited in guest quarters.
The party agreed to these conditions, and allowed themselves to be escorted to their guest quarters. Shortly after, Mirran informed the party that their request for an audience had been granted, and escorted them out. However, the party walked right into an ambush, as four giant lords suddenly attacked them while Mirran fled. Between some fast talking and melee combat, the party managed to convince the giant lords that they were being misled, and the lords who were still conscious agreed to take the party to Serissa. The party arrived in the throne room with their giant escort to see Serissa flanked by two giants. The party quickly began speaking of Mirran and Nym's treachery, but were interrupted by the storm giant Iymrith. She claimed that the party may have been the ones who murdered Serissa's mother and abducted her father, Hekaton. However, she instantly regretted those words, as the fact that Hekaton had been abducted was until this point completely unknown. Thanks to the party's persuasive arguments, Serissa confined Mirran and Nym to house arrest in their quarters, and decided to have the party embark on a quest.
Serissa explained that her mother had been found dead on a cluster of islands known as the Red Rocks, with only a single wooden coin found next to her body. It was soon after that her father, Hekaton disappeared, after placing Serissa in charge of the storm giants. Upon handing the party the coin, Sariel soon realised it wasn't a coin, but a gambling chip from the Golden Goose Casino based out of Yartar. As the party was discussing this development with Serissa, a guard burst in, reporting that Iymrith had fled Maelstrom for parts unknown. Serissa then offered to teleport the party immediately to Yartar so they could begin their investigation.
Chapter 7: Caught in the TentaclesBetween Sariel's connections in the Hand of Yartar and Wislaw's noble status, the party was able to get onboard the Grand Dame, the riverboat that housed the Golden Goose Casino. While Wislaw and Aial were coming up with a plan as they gambled, Sariel already had something specific in mind. She wore a revealing dress to the casino, hoping to catch the eye of Lord Khaspere Drylund. She performed well while gambling, making money and more importantly, catching the eye of half the passengers of the ship - as well as Lord Drylund. Later on in the night, he invited her to his room. After getting drunk and disrobed, Sariel was able to get Lord Drylund to reveal that he was a member of the Kraken Society. He also revealed that King Hekaton was being held on a ship in the Trackless Sea. As soon as he said this, his eyes went wide as he received a telepathic burst, then collapsed onto Sariel, dead.
Once she had removed Lord Drylund's body from on top of her and gotten dressed, Sariel snuck out of his room, closing and locking the door. She found one of the ship's crew and informed them that Lord Drylund was feeling ill and didn't wish to be disturbed. Back in the casino, she relayed the information to the rest of the party. Wislaw thought her methods of seduction were questionable, but accepted the important information nevertheless. The next morning, the riverboat arrived back at Yartar, and the party disembarked. Immediately they headed for the Harper teleportation circle, and teleported to Waterdeep to find a fast ship. In Waterdeep, the Harpers hired the Kelpie's Kiss under the command of Zaldar Floshin on behalf of the party, assigning the Harper agent Ilkara Levari to watch over the mission.
The party soon boarded the ship, leaving Waterdeep. Based on the information given to Sariel by Khaspere Drylund, Captain Floshin figured the Kraken Society ship was close to the Purple Rocks. The journey there was long, taking a tenday and a half. However, the Kelpie's Kiss eventually spotted a strange ship on the horizon - one shaped like a giant squid. It moved to intercept the ship, which Sariel identified as the Morkoth, the ship they were looking for. The Kelpie's Kiss quickly came alongside the Morkoth, allowing the party to board it as their crew provided archery support.
As the battle onboard the Morkoth went on, Aial used his spells to neutralise the crew, while Wislaw worked on removing Hekaton. Sariel for her part, was impaled by a merrow harpoon through the abdomen and dragged deep into the ocean. She barely managed to avoid drowning and showed up right as the battle was concluding. During the battle, the half-orc quite literally stabbed the captain of the Morkoth in the back, shouting about vengeance - though he continued to fight the party and was later killed himself. At the conclusion of the battle, Wislaw managed to free Hekaton and catch him up on recent events. While he was doing that, Sariel explored the ship. In the captain's cabin, she discovered several words etched into the floor with a knife - "DRAGON", "IYMRITH", "SISTERS", "TREACHERY". She also found a wizard's spellbook in a shoddily locked drawer, filled with powerful spells.
For about an hour, the party filled Hekaton in on events and asked him questions while looting the ship. Aial managed to resist petrification when he opened a trapped chest, but found the first mate's diary inside. As he was reading it, a mighty crash rocked the ship. Giant tentacles had surrounded it, as the the great kraken Slarkrethel had arrived to ensure Hekaton could not escape. As the ship was being torn apart, Wislaw quickly blew the conch of teleportation, bringing both the party and Hekaton to Maelstrom.
Back in Maelstrom, Hekaton was reunited with his daughter Serissa. Together with the party, they figured out that Iymrith was really a blue dragon in disguise, one that had learned to transform itself into a storm giant. With the aid of a scrying pool, Hekaton discovered that Iymrith had returned to her lair in the Anauroch Desert.
Chapter 8: Doom of the DesertSummoning the party and a number of giants before the Wyrmskull Throne, Hekaton decreed that a strike force would be dispatched to slay the dragon Iymrith - one that he would be leading. Before he could ask them, the party all volunteered to join Hekaton and the other giants on their mission. To aid in the battle, the party was given powerful potions of giant size in order to battle the deadly dragon and her minions. After preparations were complete, the party, Hekaton, and four storm giant warriors set out on whaleback to the Whalebones. From there, they mounted rocs and flew all the way across the Sword Coast to the Anauroch Desert and Iymrith's lair.
Thunder and lightning filled the sky as the strike team landed at Iymrith's lair, an abandoned amphitheater in the desert. As they approached the lair on foot from their landing point, they came under assault from gargoyles firing trebuchets. The giants quickly ran into range, then hurled lightning at the siege engines to destroy them. Arriving at the amphitheater itself, the party and giants fought back a swarm of gargoyles, and noticed three tents sitting to the southwest - strange for a dragon's lair. Hekaton entered the middle of the amphitheater, calling out Iymrith by name and demanding she answer for the murder of his wife. Moments later, the ancient dragon crawled from her lair, attacking the storm giant. The party offered as much support as they could, but it was truly a fight between the dragon and giants. After Hekaton scarred Iymrith over the eye, she retreated back down into her lair.
Following Iymrith down into her lair, the party and giants managed to corner her. She refused to retreat any further, fighting to her last breath to protect her treasure hoard. However, she was not powerful enough to defeat the force of giants and adventurers. Following a vicious battle, Hekaton cleaved her head off with an axe, ending the ancient blue dragon's life in an instant. Shouting a battle cry of triumph, he had finally avenged his wife. He thanked both his giants and the adventurers, who had helped slay the colossal dragon despite their small size. As thanks, he permitted them to raid Iymrith's hoard and continue exploring the rest of the lair.
Exploring the sand dunes that presumably contained the hoard, the party came across four air elementals full of coins - but these were easily dispatched. They also uncovered a number of sarcophagi, each one filled with valuable treasures and magic items - including one with a legendary plate armour of invulnerability. Deeper in the amphitheater, the party found a number of yuan-ti sacrificing one of their own to a seemingly bottomless pit. After the yuan-ti threw himself off the edge, whispers could be heard emanating from the pit, but none among the party could understand them. Knowing that the dragon was dead and the giants controlled the amphitheater, the yuan-ti fled before the party could get some answers.
AftermathWith the defeat of Iymrith, Doom of the Desert, the giants and party used a conch of teleportation to return to Maelstrom. Having seen the heroism of the 'small folk', Hekaton admitted he should have paid more attention to his wife's words. As that time had long since passed he instead proclaimed that the giants and small folk of the world would be better off if they learned to peacefully coexist with each other, to better protect the world from the "tyranny of dragons". Serissa also once again thanked the party for rescuing her father and avenging her mother, as well as perhaps restoring the Ordning. Hekaton then proclaimed that each member of the party was a friend to giants, and were welcome anywhere his court had influence. Following a celebration, Hekaton used the magic of Maelstrom to teleport the party back to Nightstone, but permitted the party to keep one conch of teleportation in the event they wished to return.
With their adventure concluded, the party agreed that Wislaw should be the one to safeguard the conch. In the tendays following the events of Storm King's Thunder, Wislaw's brother was revealed to be a vampire, Sariel uncovered her personal connection to the Feywild, and Aial cleared the old Harpshield Castle of a dragon. Thanks to the money the party received by selling their excess loot, Nightstone's walls were repaired and Harpshield Castle was restored, renamed Ardent Keep. Aial went on to form the Ardent mercenary company a few months later.
- Bargewright Inn
- Calling Horns
- Eye of the All-Father
- High Forest
- Kryptgarden Forest
- Mornbryn's Shield
- Noanar's Hold
- Olostin's Hold
- Red Larch
- Xantharl's Keep